Is Father Time Catching Up With LeBron James? A Look at the King’s Injuries During His Time With the Lakers

Is Father Time Catching Up With LeBron James? A Look at the King’s Injuries During His Time With the Lakers

Joel Reyes
  • LeBron James injured his groin in the 2018-19 season
  • The Scoring King suffered a hurt ankle in March 2021
  • He is currently sidelined with a right foot tendon injury

For an extended period, LeBron James was an unstoppable force in the NBA.

Week in and week out, the four-time champion could be relied upon to be on the basketball court for his team.

That hasn’t been the case recently, with injuries hampering the league’s new scoring king.

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after injuring his ankle against the Dallas Mavericks as teammate, Dennis Schroder checks on him. Image: Ron Jenkins.
Source: Getty Images

Sports Brief has listed James’s injuries in the past years during his time with the Lakers.

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LeBron suffers groin injury

Expectations were high in La La Land during the 2018-19 season, with James now playing for the purple and gold. He helped a young Lakers team get off to a strong 20-14 start, making the fans dream of a playoff stint that season.

That didn’t come to fruition as James suffered a groin strain in a Christmas Day win over the Golden State Warriors. He was sidelined for the next 17 games, with the Lakers going 6-11 during that span.

James’s injury shocked the NBA fans as he had played 156 consecutive games before the injury, per Yahoo! Sports. That included two grueling NBA Finals runs with Cleveland.

He led the league in minutes in his final season with the Cavs (3,026 minutes) before joining the Lakers.

James returned on January 31, 2019, to help the Lakers’ playoff push but he was not 100% healthy, with the groin injury still bothering him. The Lakers decided to shut him down for the remainder of the season on March 31, 2019.

Healthy James wins the championship

James returned with a vengeance the following season. Despite dealing with back, elbow, and knee issues, he did not miss many games. With a healthystar in the lineup, the Lakers finished the regular season with the best record in the Western Conference.

They would not be denied inside the Orlando bubble, with the Lakers winning their 17th NBA championship.

Solomon Hill injures James' ankle

The Lakers’ bid to win back-to-back titles got derailed in March 2021 when James suffered another injury. Solomon Hill dove into the king's ankle to get a loose ball, injuring the Los Angeles star.

The injury knocked James out of the lineup for several weeks, with LeBron missing 26 of the Lakers’ next 28 games. He looked like his old self when he returned for the team's final two games of the 2020-21 regular season.

Unfortunately for LeBron and the Lakers, Anthony Davis also got injured in the first round of the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns. With Davis sidelined and James not 100% healthy, the Lakers made an early exit in the postseason.

LeBron deals with knee soreness

The injury bug struck LeBron again in the 2021-22 season, when he encountered knee trouble in January 2022. He dealt with significant knee soreness the rest of the campaign, forcing him to miss some key games.

James also sat out eight more games due to an abdominal strain and an additional two contests with a sore right ankle. The injuries didn’t help the Lakers’ cause, as they failed to make the playoffs. They finished the season with a woeful 33-49 record.

James sidelined with foot injury

The Lakers are in danger of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season, with James currently sidelined because of a right foot tendon injury. He injured himself in the game against the Dallas Mavericks on February 26.

He played through the injury, helping the Lakers record a 111-108 comeback win. However, James has not played a game since, with the foot injury ruling him out for at least three weeks.

The injury is critical for the Lakers, who needed a late-season surge to reach this year’s playoffs. They are 10th in the Western Conference with a 36-37 record.

James’ return may be the difference for the Lakers in their playoff push. According to head coach, Darvin Ham, he expects LeBron to return this season.

Paul George injures right leg

Sports Brief has also reported on Paul George injuring his right leg.

The Clippers star was hurt against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

George landed awkwardly after colliding with OKC's Luguentz Dort.